A Salem resident who allegedly led Beverly police on a car chase Monday afternoon was released on personal recognizance at his arraignment in Salem District Court on Tuesday.
Piotr Kociszewski, 19, of 31 Symonds Street in Salem, is being charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, speeding, stop sign violation, violating the city knife ordinance, and two counts of failure to stop for police, after police say he fled when an officer in Beverly approached his vehicle to question him about an odor of marijuana.
According to Beverly police spokesman Dave Costa, an officer working a construction detail at Rantoul and Bow Street just after 2 p.m. on Monday detected the scent of marijuana in the area, and believed it to be coming from a light blue Toyota stopped at a stop sign on Bow Street.
Costa said in an email that the officer, who he declined to name, approached the driver and "asked him to roll his window down, while also motioning the same request with his hands to the driver." The driver ignored his request, and when the officer opened the driver's door, "the odor of marijuana became stronger."
When asked about the smell, the driver ignored the officer again, and fled the scene when the officer requested he step out of the vehicle.
The car door closed on the officer's hand as the car sped off, resulting in the assault and battery charge. Costa said the officer complained of pain in his hand later, but it is unknown if he sought medical attention.
An officer on Bridge Street received a report of the incident over radio and gave pursuit down Bridge Street, onto Folger Avenue and Winthrop Avenue, before losing sight of the vehicle briefly on Crescent Street.
When he caught up to the vehicle again, it was rolling slowly with the passenger side door open, and a passenger who had been in the vehicle was no longer there. The passenger was never identified and has not been apprehended.
Officers stopped the vehicle over the Kernwood Bridge in Salem with the help of Salem police. According to Costa, a Gatorade bottle half-full of suspected marijuana and another small baggy of marijuana were recovered from the center console, and another bag of marijuana was found in the glove compartment.
Kociszewski was issued a civil citation for possession. He is due back in court of November 30, according to the clerk magistrate's office.
Ryan Mooney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.